TikTok security gets an upgrade with iPhone passkey support

TikTok passkey screenshots
(Image credit: TikTok)

Social video app TikTok has announced that it is bringing passkey support to the iPhone, making it easier and safer for people to sign into it.

Passkeys are a new security and sign-in option that removes the need for the traditional username and password combinations that we're used to. Instead, passkeys use biometric measures to ensure accounts remain secure.

TikTok announced that it's starting to roll passkey support out this month, although only in specific parts of the world initially with more to come.

Security first

TikTok announced the new security feature via a blog post, saying that "passkey authentication works by using public-private key cryptography techniques." Users identify themselves using Touch ID, or on Apple's best iPhones, Face ID. TikTok and other apps cannot access the biometric data that is saved when creating a passkey, ensuring they remain private.

TikTok also confirmed that it is now part of the FIDO Alliance, the outfit that helps develop authentication standards.

“Passwords are a hindrance to security and user experience that are long past their expiration date – which is why the FIDO Alliance has created open standards for passwordless authentication that are being utilized by leading service providers to allow consumers to have easier access to leading online services such as TikTok,” Andrew Shikiar, FIDO Alliance Executive Director, said via the blog post.

TikTok says that it's launching passkey support in Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America this month and expects to expand it to more markets "over time." It also shared new details on how to set up a passkey within TikTok once the time comes.

TikTok isn't the first to add support for passkeys of course. Apple.com already does, while PayPal also added passkey support previously, along with 1Password. 

Passkeys was introduced in iOS 16, set to be replaced in September when iOS 17 rolls out alongside the new iPhone 15. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.